A topic that is sure to be hot throughout the offseason is what the Falcons will do with Matt Ryan and Julio Jones. Last week, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Jones could be a potential trade piece once the season ends. Although our own Alex Lord refuted that there was any substance to that claim, given the fact that the Falcons currently don’t even have a general manager. Regardless, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport seems to think a trade for Julio is much more likely than Matt Ryan getting dealt, and he makes a fantastic point as to why.
“I have a hard time imagining [Matt] Stafford or Matt Ryan get traded. Trades happen in March. They’ll know in April [if they can draft a quarterback.] … But you’re not going to trade them not knowing the answer [at quarterback].” – @nflnetwork Ian Rapoport on @dpshow
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) January 5, 2021
Unless the new regime has a clear-cut candidate they want to take in April’s draft, Ryan isn’t going anywhere. And even if they do fall in love with one of the many potential first-round quarterbacks, it’s going to be difficult to deal Ryan by March, considering the three teams in front of them in the draft order could all potentially take a quarterback.
The Jaguars will almost certainly select Trevor Lawrence, the Jets have Sam Darnold, but Zach Wilson or Just Fields could be too tempting to pass up, and the Dolphins might take whoever is left after Tua struggled during his rookie season. Couple the Falcons uncertainty about what the teams will do in front of them in the draft with Rich McKay’s statement from yesterday about competing to win in 2021, and it seems highly unlikely the Falcons will eat a bunch of dead cap and move on from Matt Ryan before the draft — especially considering how well Ryan performed over the last three weeks of the season.